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A Dark, Dark Tale (Red Fox Picture Books)
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A Dark, Dark Tale (Red Fox Picture Books)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  442 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
Children will delight in following the black cat's progress through the dark wood, into the dark house, and eventually to the surprise discovery at the back of the toy cupboard, in this mysterious, beautifully illustrated picture book.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published July 16th 1992 by Red Fox (first published 1981)
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Aug 30, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Absolutely love this book. Not enough words to be a level 1 reader, but a cute, creepy, story that's just in time for the Halloween season coming up. I'm so looking forward to autumn! The pictures are dark and creepy and fun, and my 5 yr old got to learn some new words like "moor" and "passage". For some reason, I seem to remember Ruth Brown as writing some other books I enjoyed as a child, I'll have to look her up and see if I can't get some more from the library! Great addition to our library!
Lisa Vegan
Well, I thought the dark cat was cute, until the very end at least. And, I liked this throughout, until maybe the end. The end was a surprise, and it was welcomed as it added a bit of zing to the story. But, it made the cat seem less adorable to me, and when I got to the end, I found myself thinking well what was the point of that, even though I saw the point. For very young children the repetition and the telling of the tale with very few words really works, and older children can enjoy this ...more
Lisa Fanelli
Nov 23, 2015 Lisa Fanelli rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
I love this book! This book was my first favorite book as a child. I had issues with my eyesight that went misdiagnosed until the third grade. I was a third grader that could not read. I could not track the print on the page. I had to go to vision therapy to strengthen my eye muscles to track print. The reason I loved this book because of the wonderful pictures. My parents would read me this story. Then I would "read" the story based on the pictures. This was the first book that I could "read". ...more
Jan 22, 2013 Angela rated it it was ok
This is a tale which begins out on a 'dark dark moor' and follows a sequence moving from the moor, to a wood, to a house, to a door, to the inside of the house etc. The story leads us through the house to a box within which lies a surprise for the reader. The surprise is not all that exciting and doesn't really relate to the rest of the story. The story ends once the box is opened and we see what is inside.

The words 'dark dark' are repeated throughout the story as all of the items are described
Oct 11, 2012 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Do you think that if monsters really exist that there might be a monster out there licking his lips and thinking about YOU? And what if that monster is coming to find you? Riding his bicycle through a dark forest on his way? What if he is thinking about what you might taste like with ketchup as he wades through the gloopy swamp? What if he thinks about you on toast while tiptoeing through thorns? He’s getting closer and closer… you aren’t scared are you? Are you?

Filled with great noises and ways
Mel Jennings
Apr 01, 2012 Mel Jennings rated it really liked it
In the wood there was a dark, dark house, at the front of the house there was a dark, dark door. This book will encourage children to join in if being used as a read aloud story book. With its use of repetition on every page, children can become the story tellers. Follow the pages all the way to the end to discover what is hiding in the dark, dark box. Encourage the children to use their imaginations as you make your way through this story, there are lots of opportunities for the children to ...more
Sep 13, 2015 Sylvia rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-books
Keren banget! :D Baru tahu kalau di library ada buku ini. Simpen ah buat storytelling :)

Kisahnya di awali begini:

Once upon a time there was a dark, dark moor...

Lalu dilanjutkan di dalam moor (atau tegalan) itu ada hutan, di dalam hutan ada rumah, dan seterusnya. Yang membuat menarik adalah, buku ini ilustrasinya kelam, gelap seperti cerita hantu. Dan kalimat yang digunakan juga membuat imajinasi melayang ke arah hantu terutama saat menggambarkan isi rumah.

Saya membayangkan saat bercerita pada a
Oct 06, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it
Preschool and primary students will love this atmospheric picture book. It's great for a experiencing print: have your child spot the black cat in every page and guess where he's going next. Talk about how the setting (night in an old, abandoned house) and inky, gothic pictures contribute to the scary mood.(Well, don't use those exact words...) Repeat the "dark, dark" part. This is an ever-so-slightly scary tale that most 4 and 5 year olds will enjoy without fear. Recommended for any home or ...more
Mama Bibliosoph
This is an enduring childhood classic and a great choice for children with autism. The book is like a gothic Russian nesting doll, opening on a dark moor and slowly zooming in to a creepy house, exploring it almost cautiously, until arriving at a mysterious wooden box in a dark and dusty cupboard.

On every page, a black cat can be found by the careful reader, and that is a great way to involve a child in the book, and as I've mentioned in previous posts, illustrations that promote scanning are g
Melanie Rightmyer
Very simple text but the illustrations are amazing! I would consider owning this book just for the pictures.
Oct 26, 2016 Trish rated it liked it
Shelves: je, 2016
This is a good book for repetition.
Oct 29, 2016 Abigail rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this book as a child - spooky, but with a humorous ending.
Oct 18, 2016 Melle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This is the perfect introduction to scary stories for little kids (and bigger kids who need to know they're braver than they realize), because the payoff at the end is so great. Delightful, timeless, and a perfect read for the Halloween season.
Sep 28, 2016 Tessa added it
Shelves: picture-books
I did not like this book. It was very dark and creepy for a children's book, it was about a cat in a dark mansion. The cat kept going into different rooms in the house until it got to a closet with a mouse in it.
This fun and spooky tale would make a great Halloween time (or anytime!) read-aloud for young classrooms everywhere. The dark, muted colors used in the cover illustration are the perfect way to set the musty, eerie tone that is carried very well throughout the book. From the very first page the reader is pulled in to this suspenseful story, slowly following the narrator on to each page. This story uses repetition from beginning to end with the words “dark, dark,” which are used on every page to ...more
Kimberlee Gutterman
Oct 03, 2016 Kimberlee Gutterman rated it really liked it
Shelves: predictable
I liked this book very much. I was a bit confused to find out the cat was the one who was going on the adventures from the text which lead to a mouse. For some reason I really didn't pick up on that but I later found out from a website containing the book. Now that I know this I can look back at the pages and I have realized that this is all taking place through the cat's eyes. This book demonstrates meaningful repetition because on every page something is described using the words "dark, dark." ...more
Sep 15, 2016 Brooke rated it liked it
This book is good for repetition. A good choice for a reader struggling to learn new words.
Tristan Doane
Sep 15, 2016 Tristan Doane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elementary-books
This book is great for Halloween because it is very dark and mysterious with a hint of humor. But I am not going to say where the humor is at because that will ruin the surprise.
This book would be such a great one for Halloween! Although it is repetitive it kept my interest the whole time. I wondered through the forest to find a mouse inside the box. The ending made me laugh. This would be such a great read aloud book for young kiddos.
Chelsea Gail Smith
Jan 30, 2013 Chelsea Gail Smith rated it really liked it
A Dark Dark Tale written and illustrated by Ruth Brown was a fun, almost suspenseful read. Every page described something as "dark,dark." While I was reading this, I thought that some children might be a little scared of the story because it was dark, the illustration's were dark, and everything was being described as dark. I remember when I was a child I was very scared of the dark. I think this is a good story to show that your should not be scared of the dark. The illustrations were very ...more
Hannah Rich
Feb 04, 2014 Hannah Rich rated it it was amazing
Eeeeryyyy!!!! I honestly felt like I was actually walking through a haunted house just by looking at these illustrations! As you flip from page to page, the reader gets focused in on a more specific piece of information about this abandoned residence located in the middle of the woods. I feel like this book would bring a sense of curiosity to young readers because they would want to find out for themselves what lies in that house. The use of dark colors and double page illustrations makes the ...more
Joseph Seo
Sep 11, 2013 Joseph Seo rated it liked it
This book is very dark like the title says. It has a scariness that children would love in a book. This is definitely a good Halloween read. Ruth Brown does a good job of making the book not too scary for children, but just enough. The words "dark, dark" is repeated in every page and it adds a creepy effect to the book. You follow a black cat from the woods and inside the house. Everything in the house is dark and creepy. Page after page it gets even more suspenseful except the ending. The ...more
Sep 18, 2013 Chelsea rated it really liked it
This book is a picture book with the theme of Halloween making it unique and good for the children who like spookier story lines. This book is not scary, however, so it is still appropriate for young age groups. This book is also a pattern book repeating the phrase"...a dark, dark,,," keeping the reader involved and wanting to know what happens on the next page. The repetition makes for good page turners. The end of the story comes as a surprise to the reader and also adds to the uniqueness of ...more
Sep 17, 2013 Katelyn rated it really liked it
The picture book, "A Dark, Dark Tale," by Ruth Brown takes children through this dark and scary house into a room by following this black cat. The repetition on each page is, "a dark dark..." The black cat starts in the woods, enters a house, which eventually leads to a room where a tiny mouse is sleeping in a box. This shows children that they should not be afraid of the dark! It may seem scary, but in all actuality it is not. I think this picture book would be great for children ages 3-5. ...more
Emily Lloyd
May 05, 2014 Emily Lloyd rated it it was ok
The dark dark tale is a book based on a progression through the dark wood, into the dark house, and eventually to the surprise discovery of a mouse inside a toy box. We did the book for two weeks for our literacy lesson in year one. I do not recommend this book very highly as the children didn't really like the concept of the dark dark tale. I also found it confusing for the children as they were encouraged to think about the main character of the dark dark tale. There isn't really a main ...more
Blair Herron
Nov 28, 2011 Blair Herron rated it liked it
Patterned/Predictable Book:

Definitely can see why it falls under the category of predictable since the beginning of each sentence starts out the same and you can get a sense for where the plot is headed. Children and Adults alike could certainly tell what the beginning of each sentence would be since it was repeated each time. The illustrations do a wonderful job depicting the story line because with each new element that is added it is shown in the pictures opposite of the text. This would make
Sarah Caswell
Sep 17, 2015 Sarah Caswell rated it really liked it
This short but dark dark tale by Ruth Brown is a fun and cute tale that will keep the attention of small children when read appropriately. The tale begins with a dark dark setting that wiggles its way through a forest and then to a house. In this house there are dark dark places that lead to a special surprise visitor at the end! I believe that children will enjoy the suspense of seeing which dark place will come next. The author takes hold of the readers attention by starting out with a big ...more
Sarah Sammis
Jun 27, 2010 Sarah Sammis rated it liked it
Sean chose A Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown for Harriet when we were at the library. It was first published when my brother was three but I don't remember reading the book back then. It feels like a modern picture book so I have to admit to being surprised at its age.

A Dark, Dark Tale builds on a suspense, starting in the forest and following a black cat as he creeps through the forest and into an apparently abandoned old manor. Somewhere in the heart of this house is a dark, dark secret.

Up until
Julia Wickenden
Mar 17, 2014 Julia Wickenden rated it really liked it
A Dark, Dark Tale is a very good picture book. Some of the story can only really be picked up by looking at the pictures, and the pictures are dark and atmospheric. There is a repeated motif which makes it easy for children to engage.

A cat goes on a journey through a dark, dark wood, into a dark, dark house, into dark, dark rooms and a dark, dark cupboard, where he finds a dark, dark box. Inside the dark, dark box is a surprise...

A Dark, Dark Tale could be used as a stimulus for writing in EYFS
Ruth Lyons
Jan 28, 2012 Ruth Lyons rated it really liked it
This book is about following the trail to a dark house which has many dark places. Once inside we are led to a dark room that has a box which has a surprise in it for us all. Our guide is a dark colored cat.

This would be good for beginning readers because of the very short and simple words. It would also be a good book to read to 2 and 3 year olds because of its pattern of using the phase " a dark, dark __" to decribe the new place we are introduced to.

The illustrations are done in dark shades o
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Ruth Brown is the creator of some of Britain's best loved children's books. She has created a great many picture books for Andersen Press and is highly respected as an author and illustrator. She is married to artist Ken Brown and they have two grown-up sons and one grandchild.
More about Ruth Brown...

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